Videoconferencing specialist Tandberg is investing in its Hamilton R&D centre, acquired when it bought Ectus in 2005. The company has also recently opened an Auckland office.
Jaron Burbidge, Tandberg’s New Zealand area manager, says strong growth in the market is behind opening the local office.
The Hamilton R&D centre develops software that controls streaming and archiving of video. The centre has 15 staff, of which 10 are developers. Tandberg also has R&D centres in Norway, where it is headquartered, the UK and the Netherlands.
“We took on three staff last year and we’re expecting to grow another 25% this year,” says Craig Cockerton, formerly of Ectus and now Tandberg’s New Zealand R&D manager.
Cockerton says he is primarily looking for C++ developers.
He says the Norwegian head of technology and innovation comes to New Zealand a couple of times a year to catch up with local staff, but daily communication is via videoconferencing.
“We ‘see’ the Norwegian guys, and also staff at the other R&D centres across the world, on a daily basis,” he says.
The time difference is not a problem, he says.
Cockerton and his team usually talk to Norway in the evening and that is when he likes to work anyway, he says. He’s also got videoconferencing set up at home.
“I can leave work at 5pm, go home and spend some time with my children, and then work for a couple of hours when they have gone to bed,” he says.
Staff at the New Zealand R&D centre can go work overseas and staff at the European centres can come and work here for a while. For example, the former manager for R&D in New Zealand, Peter Moodie, is currently in Norway on a two-year contract, Burbidge says.